January 14, 2005
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Publication Date: Friday, January 14, 2005
Letter from the Publisher
Letter from the Publisher
(January 14, 2005) Introducing Fogster: The Voice's free online marketplace
Today marks the start of an exciting and, we believe, unprecedented new concept in merging newspaper classified advertising with the powerful capabilities of online classified postings.
Fogster is the result of many months of brainstorming and design. Our goal was to create a new model for how a community uses newspapers to buy, sell, barter, look for things and give stuff away that takes full advantage of the capabilities of the Internet.
For the last few years, newspapers have experienced a steady migration of classified advertising to Web sites. This exodus has been most visible with employment advertising, the mainstay of most daily newspapers. But the growth of online classified sites has also drawn other kinds of ads out of newspapers, including ads placed by individuals wanting to buy or sell merchandise or automobiles, or look for housing.
We are committed to offering our readers an easy online and newspaper solution for buying or selling a used bike, TV, car, musical instrument ... or for giving away some unneeded firewood or used toys ... or for finding a reliable employee, tutor, gardener or plumber for the office or home.
We've come up with a system that combines the immediacy of the Internet with the proven and targeted effectiveness of newspaper advertising. Instead of needing to call or e-mail us with your ad, you will be able to simply go to our Web site, enter your ad, and it will be "live" for others to see within a moment.
In addition to the free online posting, you'll get a free headline ad in the Voice, the Palo Alto Weekly and the Almanac, which serves Menlo Park. If you choose, for a small additional charge you may run a longer ad or include a photograph in the Peninsula papers, or run the ad in one or both of our other newspapers: the Pleasanton Weekly in the East Bay or the Pacific Sun in Marin County.
In short, we've made it easy for readers to place ads online and in the newspaper -- for free -- and at the time of your choosing. The newspaper gets your ad in front of people in the community who may not be actively searching online, and Fogster organizes the online postings for those who prefer that marketplace.
There are other options out there, such as Craigslist, but we believe most people prefer dealing with their neighbors when buying or selling stuff. It's more convenient, often more trustworthy and reinforces the notion of "community." And nothing is more effective than newspaper advertising for reaching a geographically targeted audience that may not be actively looking for something to buy or for a job.
We hope you'll use and enjoy the exceptional capabilities of this new classified system, and that you'll let us know what you think of it.
-- Tom Gibboney
Fogster: How it Works
Fogster allows you to place a free classified ad 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by using a simple online form at www.fogster.com. Once you give your approval, your ad goes "live" immediately on our Web site at Fogster.com, where more than 250,000 users can see it. The ad can be any length and include two photos.
In addition to being online, a free one-line listing of your ad will appear in the next two issues of the Voice , Palo Alto Weekly and Almanac. For a small charge of $5 per additional line, you can expand the ad in the newspaper to provide more details and contact information, enabling you to gain the full advantages of targeted newspaper circulation and readership within your own community. Otherwise, readers will respond to your ad by logging onto Fogster to read the full ad listing and to contact you.
Of course, readers don't have to place their own ads online. Our classified advertising staff will continue to take ads by telephone (964-6490), fax, e-mail and in person with all the same features and benefits that are available through our automated online system, and your ad will appear both online and in the newspaper.
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